Ask Lafeber


May 9, 2022

Black Pin Feather Casing

Hi! I work as a trainer with rescue birds and I came across something I’ve never encountered. We have an 11 year old hyacinth, Mr. B who is molting. I was giving his a nail trim when I noticed something long and black in his feathers on the outside primaries. I looked closer and it was a pin feather casing. There were a couple through this wing. The other casings around it where or darker in hue, I’ve been helping him preen and none of his others casing look anything like it. He does have some intense stress bars, enough to where they are breaking off at the bar when he preens. He’s also a darker hued macaw, and I’ve never gone in to closely examine a molting wing, so I don’t know if that’s normal. We put a call in to ask our vet, but can’t get answer. We’re all so puzzled by it.



It doesn’t sound like anything to worry about. But it could be nutrition related. Because Hyacinths in the wild mainly feed off a particular tree nut, it’s hard to maintain their nutrition in captivity. Stress bars can be from any type of stress, including a nutrition issue. I would consider some bloodwork just to be cautious.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


Subscribe to our newsletter

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter